By Louis Daignault
TALLINN, Estonia – Ice dancers Mackenzie Bent of Uxbridge, Ont., and Garrett MacKeen of Oshawa, Ont., won the silver medal on Saturday at the Tallinn Cup, the fifth stop on the ISU Junior Grand Prix figure skating circuit.
Anna Yanovskaya and Sergey Mozgov of Russia slipped by the Canadians in the free dance tabulating 152.00 points. Bent and MacKeen, first after the short dance, followed at 144.51 and Alexandra Nazarova and Maxim Nikitin of Ukraine were third at 128.59.
It was the second medal performance this season on the circuit for Bent and MacKeen. Earlier this month they won gold at the third stop in Ostrava, Czech Republic but improved their overall score by six points on Saturday.
The performances put them in an excellent position to advance to the Junior Grand Prix Final December 11-14 in Barcelona.
‘’We are super excited about our performances this week,’’ said Bent, 17. ‘’Our skating was much better than a couple of weeks ago. It is very important for us to get to the Junior Grand Prix final after just falling short last season.’’
The couple now have five career Junior Grand Prix podium finishes.
‘’The key to our success today was duplicating what we’ve been doing in training,’’ said MacKeen. ‘’For me, I felt our expression was a lot stronger. To be this consistent early on in the season is a very good sign.’’
Canada stands a great chance to ice two dance teams at the Junior Grand Prix Final for the first time since 2004. Madeline Edwards of Port Moody, B.C., and Zhao Kai Pang of Burnaby, B.C., have also won two medals this season on the circuit. Back in 2004, the eventual Olympic champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir as well as Allie McCurdy and Michael Coreno were the Canadian ice dance entries.
In women’s competition twin sisters Kim Decelles and Emy Decelles were 13th and 19th respectively.
Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/events/fsevent00051553.htm.